Alton manager Kevin Adair admitted his relief after his side took a big step towards securing their Combined Counties Premier Division South status with two crucial home wins against teams below them in the table.
“You don’t always get the best of quality in games like this when you’re desperate for points,” said Adair. “We’ve probably played better in other games we haven’t won – but at this stage of the season it’s about getting as many points on the board as possible.
“We knew two home games in a week against teams who were in and around us was a big opportunity for us to get points on the board and make things look a little bit more comfortable – so we’re pleased with that.
“Hopefully we can do enough to maintain our status at Step 5 and then build again.
“We don’t look too much further than what we’ve got to do ourselves – which is trying to put points on the board. We’ve looked at the games where we think we should be getting points.
“We’ve got Knaphill to play on the last day of the season, but everyone else is in and around us.
“The teams in and around us have all got to play the teams we’ve already played at the top – so without saying it’s done, it’s certainly more comfortable this week than it was last week. A lot of the teams in and around us are picking up points, but we have to stick with it and trust the process. Hopefully it pays off.”
Adair hailed the character of his squad, which endured some tough results earlier in the season after being moved from the Wessex League in the summer.
“It’s nice to go in the changing room and see the lads smiling,” he said.
“They’re always smiling but you can see it’s through gritted teeth and disappointment sometimes when we’ve not quite got what we wanted – and that’s the same for me. I’ve been a bit nervy in the past few weeks because I’ve never experienced this in managing. I’ve managed for quite a few years, albeit not at this level, but it’s a different experience.
“Hopefully I learn from it. Hopefully they learn from it, and enjoy these results. There are no major celebrations going on because we’re below the middle of the table, but if we can stay in this league we’ll count that as a mini success in terms of where we were at the start of the season.
“This is such a good place to be – even in the toughest and darkest of times the changing room is one of the best I’ve been in. That speaks volumes for the lads.
“We’ll look to try to progress the team again next year.”